Good Question: Is one town breaking its own rule?

August 20, 2018 07:31 AM

A lot of towns and cities have rules and laws you must follow. But did one town break its own ordinance?

Pat Taney was asked about that for this week's Good Question.


A viewer, who asked to remain anonymous, sent Pat a letter in the mail. In the letter, the viewer included an ordinance about house or building addresses sent to everyone in the viewer's town. The viewer also sent photos, showing something very interesting at the town hall where the laws were created.

That town? Ossian in Livingston County.

Bob Vanderbosch calls it home and his own paradise.

"We don't have to go somewhere else for vacation because we have it all here," he said.

He's happy and says for the most part, the town is run well.

"We usually never have any issues."

Until now.

Vanderbosch, along with other residents in the town, got a notice in the mail recently.

It demands everyone with a building to have two numbers indicating their address boldly and clearly. The address numbers must be on the building itself and numbers on the mailbox too. 

"It's a countywide 911 thing," Town Supervisor Dwight Knapp said. "Numbers are supposed to be on mailboxes and buildings."

The notices were sent out from town hall. When News 10NBC paid town hall a visit, something was missing.

There were no addresses on the mailboxes nor the building.

The town's highway department was also unmarked.

Ossian had been breaking its own rule.

So what's the deal? Pat reached out to the town's code enforcement officer who then told the supervisor, who then called us.

"I said well, if those numbers aren't on those two buildings I guess you better get them on. He [the code enforcement officer] thought it was merely an oversight," Knapp said. "Nothing Intentional."

Days after we alerted town leaders. a new set of boldly printed numbers were put on all town buildings and mailboxes.

Problem solved.

All is, once again, well in Ossian.

We did not hear of anyone being fined for not having their buildings clearly marked. But again it's important, especially in rural areas so emergency crews can get to your house if they need to.

If you have a question you'd like Pat to answer, send an email to


Pat Taney

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